News & Announcements

Special Olympics Illinois has many stories, some will inspire you and others might touch your heart, but all highlight how Special Olympics Illinois is in the business of transforming lives. On this page we have compiled some of the most compelling stories from this year as told by our athletes, volunteers, coaches, families and staff. You can be a part of this ongoing story by submitting to us how Special Olympics Illinois has transformed your life!

SUBMIT STORY

Transforming Lives

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Jenny Fortner Board Chair and Lifetime Supporter

Special Olympics Illinois Board Chair and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, Jenny Fortner, first got involved with the organization at the University of Chicago where she attended college. She volunteered ...

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October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness. During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of their abilities and ...

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Tommy Shimoda: The First Special Olympics Athlete Inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

Tommy Shimoda, a Special Olympics Illinois Athlete, is changing the game one milestone accomplishment at a time. Shimoda, 24, has been competing with Special Olympics Illinois at Mt. Greenwood Park ...

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Team Palmer House is Prepared for Takeoff!

Returning again this year, The Palmer House Hotel. They are so excited to return and love this event. Team Palmer House is part of the hotel division for the Plane ...

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Team We are Tuggettes is Prepared for Takeoff!

By Chris Soderland - Crestwood, IL Who are the Tuggettes This is the fourth year participating in Plane Pull for an all women’s team comprised members of firefighters and paramedics of the ...

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Meet Lily from Schaumburg

About Lily Thirteen year old Lily Pasquarelli is an eighth grader at Jane Addams  Junior High. After participating in the Polar Plunge earlier in the year, Lily has set her sights ...

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Team McHenry County SWAT is Prepared for Takeoff!

By Theresa Harper Years Participating in Plane Pull This is the first year the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team will participate in the Plane Pull as a team, however several ...

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Press Releases

Chicago Fire Soccer

Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Special Olympics Illinois Announce 2017 Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Special Olympics Illinois are proud to announce the members of the 2017 Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team. Athletes Guillermo Antolin - Thornton High School, Samuel ...

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Special Olympics Illinois Athletes to Compete in State Bowling Tournament

WHAT: 2016 Special Olympics Illinois State Bowling Tournament WHEN: Saturday, Dec.  3 (See schedule below) WHERE:             Landmark Lanes, 3225 N. Dries Lane, Peoria WHO:                  277 Special Olympics athletes competing in bowling (singles, ramp, doubles, ...

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CEO of Make Corporation Joins SOILL Board Of Directors

Karen Wilson has joined the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors, serving on its Development Committee. Wilson is the owner and CEO of MAKE Corporation, a professional services and staffing company ...

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SOILL Athletes to Take to Court, Arena at Fall Games in Rockford Area

NORMAL, Ill. – More than 740 Special Olympics athletes from all over the state will compete at the Special Olympics Illinois Fall Games, which includes volleyball and equestrian competition, on ...

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Central Illinois Walgreens Locations Raise More Than $35,000 for SOILL

NORMAL, Ill. – Walgreens locations in Central Illinois raised $35,419 for Special Olympics Illinois during a fundraising campaign. View list of participating stores. There will be a check presentation at ...

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Aon Hewitt CEO to Chair Inspire Greatness Gala

Special Olympics Illinois is pleased to introduce Kristi Savacool, Chief Executive Officer of Aon Hewitt, as the Chair of the 2016 Inspire Greatness Gala. Aon Hewitt serves more than 20,000 clients ...

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Chicagoland Residents, Law Enforcement Officials to Participate in Plane Pull at O'Hare Airport

Participants Test ‘Tug-of-War’ Skills by Pulling 90-Ton Plane to Benefit Special Olympics Illinois CHICAGO, Ill.  – Teams of local law enforcement agencies and the general public will participate in a larger ...

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eNews

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SOILL Bucketlist

BUCKET LIST CHALLENGE We've compiled a list of feel good, do good activities to help you get involved with Special Olympics Illinois in 2017. We hope that with every item checked, ...

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Athlete Finds Unique Way to Raise Money for Polar Plunge – Collecting, Recycling Cans

Special Olympics Illinois athlete Jacob Cross of Bloomington is looking forward to repeating the Polar Plunge at Bloomington’s Miller Park on Feb. 25, 2017. Jacob has come up with a ...

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Growing the Emerging Sport of Flag Football

Hundreds of athletes across the state are experiencing the joy of competition as they embark on a new journey with an emerging sport. Special Olympics flag football has become widespread ...

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Area News - November 2016

Area 1 Young Official a New Face Above Volleyball Court Volleyball players, coaches and family members may have noticed a new face on the court during Fall Games on Oct. 23, 2016. ...

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Looking Back at Successful Year and Forward to Exciting Changes in Future

By Dave Breen, President & CEO As we near the end of the year, I want take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your efforts in 2016 and share some ...

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SOILL Teams Up with IHSA, IBCA to Increase Awareness, Promote Volunteerism

This basketball season, Special Olympics Illinois will be using a full-court press to attract volunteers for its Area, district and state events. With support from both the Illinois High School Association ...

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Harley Winner Finally Gets His Bike Through Loop-Hole in Family Agreement

Mike Cochran of Oak Brook had grown up always wanting to get a Harley-Davidson motorcycle but never doing so because of an agreement he had with his parents. “We have a ...

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Organizational Updates

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SOILL Evaluating Future Success of 3 Sports

A challenge many Special Olympics Programs face is determining when it is appropriate to add new sports. An even greater challenge presents itself when participation diminishes and Programs are confronted ...

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New Staff - October 2016

The following people have joined Special Olympics Illinois: Benjamin Abels has been named Data Entry Specialist based at the Normal office. He is responsible for general data entry and management. Abels had previously ...

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Revamped Format for Golf Venue at Outdoor Sports Festival

Special Olympics Illinois has formed a Golf Sports Management Team in order to enhance the golf venue at the Outdoor Sports Festival. After considering how to improve the flow of ...

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New Staff - August 2016

The following people have joined Special Olympics Illinois: Marty Hickman has joined SOILL as Chief Operating Officer, based out of the Normal office. He is responsible for ensuring that the organization ...

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SOILL Expanding Player Development Programming

Special Olympics Illinois will be expanding upon the Player Development pilot sports that were introduced earlier this year in specific Areas. This past spring, multiple Areas in each of SOILL’s ...

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SOILL Announces New Board Members - June 2016

Special Olympics Illinois announces the election of three new members to its Board of Directors at the board's June meeting. The new board members are Jim Jacobs, Randy Schaab and Randy ...

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New Staff - June 2016

The following people have joined Special Olympics Illinois: Ashley Norris has joined SOILL as the Special Projects and Events Assistant, based out of the Lombard office. Ashley will be assisting with ...

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